World Cup

Mexico: World Cup team profile

Once the pride of CONCACAF, El Tri find themselves as an outlier heading into Brazil after a nearly disastrous qualifying campaign.

El Tri stumbled badly in qualification

A massive rise in Mexico’s current form is needed to prevent El Tri from another round of 16 exit. (Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Once the pride of CONCACAF, El Tri find themselves as an outlier heading into Brazil after a nearly disastrous qualifying campaign. 

The Star

With Mexican goal-scoring at a premium at the moment, all eyes are on striker Javier Hernandez to step up for El Tri. “Chicharito” has a knack for scoring big goals when needed -- internationally or when called upon at Manchester United (which hasn’t been often as of late). 

After a difficult qualifying campaign where goals were in short supply, Mexico needs Hernandez now more than ever if El Tri are to advance to the knockout stages once more. 

Fast Facts

  • World Cup Group: A
  • Nickname: El Tri
  • Manager: Miguel Herrera
  • Captain: Rafael Márquez
  • FIFA World Ranking: 20
  • Best World Cup Result: Quarter-finals, 1970, 1986
  • Qualification Method: 4th in CONCACAF Final Group, won playoff vs. New Zealand

Road to Rio

Mexico bumbled and stumbled its way through World Cup qualification, winning only two games and scoring seven goals in its 10 matches in the CONCACAF Final Group. El Tri needed a last-gasp victory by the U.S. over Panama to even make it to the playoff round. 

Under new manager Miguel Herrera, the third coach to guide El Tri during qualification, Mexico exorcised some offensive demons by thrashing New Zealand 9-3 in the two-leg playoff to book a spot in Brazil. But El Tri’s qualification struggles still loom large over the side. 

How they Fared in 2010

Another World Cup, another round of 16 exit for the Mexicans. El Tri finished second in Group A behind Uruguay and were unlucky enough to face Argentina in the knockout round. There, a bungled offside decision gave Argentina a 1-0 lead and Mexico couldn’t recover, falling 3-1 and exiting in the first knockout phase of the World Cup for the fifth straight tournament. 

Fixtures

Group A

  • Friday June 13 -- Mexico vs. Cameroon, Noon ET
  • Tuesday June 17 -- Brazil vs. Mexico, 3 p.m. ET
  • Monday June 23 -- Croatia vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. ET

Outlook

Group A is Brazil’s to lose, and barring a major swoon in form the hosts will take it comfortably. That leaves second spot up for grabs, and Mexico is certainly in the mix along with Croatia, which is another side that is struggling mightily at the moment. The knockout berth will likely come down to the final slate of group matches, when Mexico and Croatia clash. 

But even if Mexico can sneak into second place, El Tri will be faced with a matchup against the winners of Group B -- likely to be Spain or the Netherlands. Only a massive rise in Mexico’s current form will prevent El Tri from another round of 16 exit. 

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